The Merced Irrigation District, City of Merced, and County of Merced jointly developed an integrated regional water management plan to improve water resource management and coordination. The plan addresses surface water, groundwater, wastewater, stormwater, and flood management to meet urban, agricultural, and natural resource needs in the region.
Key issues for the region include groundwater overdraft, salinity management, nitrate contamination, flooding, recycled water, rural drinking water quality, surface water demands, and water and wastewater management for disadvantaged communities.
Charles planned and coordinated the outreach and engagement process. He completed a community assessment to identify key issues and opinion leaders and recommended participation in the Regional Advisory Committee established by the governing entities.
Charles facilitated the 37-member advisory committee through a one-year planning process to develop the draft and final plan and to identify and propose priority projects for state funding.
The plan and revised governance structure was adopted by the five governing entities and other participating organizations. The region was successful in securing its first implementation grant from the State ($2.4 million).